Tuesday, May 1, 2012
A lot has been said about women’s reading habits since the success of E.J. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey has gripped the mainstream media’s attention. You have your pearl clutchers -- gasp, wimmenz be readin’ the sexorring! -- and then you have supporters of a woman’s right to read whatever the Hell they want fighting back, pointing out that a) there’s nothing wrong with reading erotic fiction and b) reading BDSM doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s running out to get flogged on alternate Tuesdays. And that’s absolutely true: We are not necessarily what we read. Thriller fans aren’t out killing people, mystery fans don’t solve crimes, I’m not out being a vigilante because I like Batman, etc. (Though I have been known to break out into Bollywood song and dance routines on the subway.) Reading erotic works where women are submissive is not necessarily an indicator of a female reader’s secret desire to give up power in the workplace, or whatever that head-scratcher of a Newsweek piece by Katie Roiphe was trying to claim.
That being said, I have to confess that I have been unduly influenced by what I read, and I’m proud of it. Expecting more out of a partner because I read romance and erotica? You better damn well believe it! As such, here are a few things I’ve come to hold as fundamental truths:
1. You deserve no less than to be loved for exactly who you are.
2. Reciprocity in intimate moments is key. Whatever that goose is doing to the gander, he better return the favor.
3. The lag time between having a secret baby and telling your partner about said secret baby should not exceed six years.
4. If you want to live in a polyamorous relationship with 3-4 guys, it has to be on a ranch. Or a secluded beach resort. Or George Clooney’s villa…wait, did I say that out loud?
5. There is nothing wrong with a Grand Gesture.
6. Paragraph-long speeches about one’s feelings are better than awkward silence.
7. If you’re pregnant and have amnesia, your baby’s father is probably a sheik or a Greek billionaire. (See item #3.)
8. Your love story is made all the more powerful when your friends find their soulmates as well.
9. Happily Ever After does exist.
Reader, writer, American desi and lifelong geek, Suleikha Snyder published her first romantic short in Ravenous Romance’s 2011 TOUCHDOWNS anthology. 2012 boasts a slew of releases, including Suleikha’s first novella from Samhain Publishing, SPICE AND SMOKE, a short in Cleis Press’ upcoming SUITE ENCOUNTERS anthology, and a Wild Rose Press short called HEART MURMURS. Suleikha lives in New York City, finding inspiration in Bollywood films, daytime and primetime soaps, and Hell’s Kitchen wine bars.
Posted by Meg Benjamin at 4:00 AM